Funding boost could lead to major investment in Clonmel's development

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

Email:

ewynne@nationalist.ie

Gladstone Street Clonmel

A view of Gladstone Street, Clonmel with the Main Guard building in the background and the Comeragh foothills as backdrop

A series of cultural, recreational and civic projects that would help transform Clonmel from a 20th century town into a 21st century town that was dynamic and fit for purpose could be supported by the government's recently unveiled €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund.

That was the view expressed by District Manager Sinead Carr at a meeting of Clonmel Borough District.

She said that a steering group had been set up within Tipperary County Council to identify projects that would qualify for funding.

These projects included the redevelopment of the former Kickham army barracks, different elements of the Flights of Discovery tourist trail, the Regional Sports Hub at the bypass and the upgrade of O'Connell Street and Gladstone Street.

With a closing date of September 28th, Ms Carr said there was a very tight timefame for making an application but a lot of work was ongoing.

She said it was worth spending money to submit as professional an application as possible.

Cllr. Michael Murphy said the fund, which was launched by Housing, Planning and Local Government Minister Eoghan Murphy, was looking for innovative and creative proposals that were ready to go in 2019.

He said there was no shortage of such projects in Clonmel with the plans already made for Suir Island, the former Kickham Barracks, the Regional Sports Hub and the upgrade of O'Connell Street and Gladstone Street.

€100 million is available in 2019 and an overall allocation of €550 million available up to the end of 2022.

Only towns with a population of more than 10,000 are eligible to apply and Cllr. Murphy said that was why the council's application should be Clonmel-led.

Cllr. Murphy said they had to make sure their application was absolutely spot-on and no expense should be spared.

Cllr. Pat English said they should all get together, get consultants on board and work as one unit to drive this across the line.

Cllr. Marie Murphy said they should try and secure as much funding as possible.

As a part of Project Ireland 2040 - the government’s National Planning Framework and National Development Plan - the fund is intended to drive the regeneration and rejuvenation of strategic and underutilised areas within Ireland’s five cities, key regional drivers and other large towns. 

The fund will operate on a competitive, bid-based Exchequer grant basis.